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Iron Man Legends
by yo go re

A mutant? Sold in an Avenger's toyline? Will wonders never cease!

Drafted as a Soviet operative on a nefarious mission, Laynia Petrovna eventually broke free from the system and began to use her super-secret skills to her own ends.

Darkstar (Темный Звезда) was born shortly after mutants came to public attention, which is good for her: until the X-Men debuted and people realized the potential strategic value of stockpiling powered individuals, Russia's official state policy was to exterminate any babies born as mutants; instead, she and her twin brother were just taken from their family and raised in a special training program. It does raise the question, however, of how the CCCP was identifying mutants that soon after birth, when not even Professor X seemed to be able to do it until puberty.

This is Darkstar's second costume, but definitely her most recognizable. It's an exceedingly simple design, which is probably why artists keep returning to it: nobody wants to spend too much time drawing secondary characters. This is a simple black bodysuit with yellow boots and gloves, and a large starburst shape on the chest. Despite the extremities being molded in color and the symbol painted, they're a very close match - which is especially impressive when you consider how hard it is to paint yellow over black! Technically there should be yellow stripes down her arms and legs, but those are most definitely not here.

Laynia's hair is long enough to reach her waist, and is pushed back out of her face by a wide black headband with a yellow circle right in the center. There's something indefinably Slavic about the style, or possibly Nordic. A bit of the hair hangs ove rthe front of her left shoulder, but the entire thing is sculpted to sit away from the body far enough that it doesn't mess with the head's movement; fortunately, since the body is all black, she doesn't end up looking like her hair exists in zero gravity. The figure's eyes are painted with yellow irises, like Starlight, even though Darkstar's powers definitely don't involve light that way.

As you may be able to guess from the supranym, Darkstar's powers involve darkness. In fact, she accesses the Darkforce Dimension, the same place as Cloak. The figure doesn't have any blasts or anything, but you could possibly borrow some from Sunspot. It's not like a standard body with nothing new except the head was going to break the budget, but it's possible - even likely - that her inclusion in this line was intended to offset the new pieces on everyone else. Though why give her splayed hands, gripping hands, and fists, if she's not going to have anything to grip? Maybe it's just the result of being released in the middle of summer, but the figure's knees feel rather soft and gummy, flexing too easily to the sides instead of just bending the direction they're meant to.

Being so simple means Darkstar gets three pieces of the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure: the torso, back, and neck fur.

When the original Darkstar was infected by Weapon XII's bacterial consciousness, Fantomex was forced to kill her. Recognizing the value in the hero's reputation, the Russian government hired another woman, Sasha Roerich, to take up the role; she died in battle. So they replaced her with a third, Reena Stanicoff; she was killed by a Dire Wraith. Through some means, Laynia Petrovna was brought back to life in the Dire-Wraith-disguised-as-Reena body, because comics are weird and goofy. She's an unexpected choice to get a Marvel Legend, even two decades into the line's existence, but does help build a team.

-- 09/07/21

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